Horse News

OBAMA Wild Horse Posts Still Unfilled, Board’s Current Makeup Suspect at Best

story by Steven Long ~ publisher of Horseback Magazine

BLM Board to Meet this Week is BOGUS!

BLM Contractor Chopper attacking lone horse at recent Antelope Complex stampede ~ photo by Terry Fitch

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The federal Bureau of Land Management faces a burgeoning scandal that threatens to embroil to cabinet level agencies.

Three members of the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board should have left their post on June 14, 2010, but continue to serve despite shady authority to have their terms extended until new members are appointed.

“The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture are reviewing candidates for the categories of Natural Resource Management, Wild Horse and Burro Research, and the General Public Interest with a special emphasis on Equine Behavior,” BLM national spokesman told Horseback Online early Monday.

“Once the Secretaries agree on the selections, appointment letters will be sent out,” Gorey said.

The Obama Administration agency extended the expired terms of three long gone outgoing trustees of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. The board members continue to serve.  Horseback Online broke the story February 17.  And one board member continues to serve under a cloud after allegations she heads a sham horse welfare group.

But Gorey says the old board members whose terms have expired may continue to serve, but cites no statute that enables them to continue in office.

“These terms have been temporarily extended until new nominees are appointed, “ Gorey said then.

Each of the hold over trustees represents an area of the agency’s interest. They are:

Ms. Renee Taylor – Livestock Management

Dr. Vernon D.  Dooley – Wild Horse and Burro Management

Dr. J. Wayne Burkhardt – Natural Resources Management

All oversee areas that are in the direct line of fire of wild horse advocates critical of the agency’s massive roundups which some say will eventually cause the North American Mustang to become extinct.

Gorey told Horseback Magazine that BLM Director Bob Abbey has already named the prospective replacement board members but refused to make them public. Asked if the secretive bureau was hiding the identity of its appointees, an official in Abbey’s office said the names are being kept secret, not by law, but through BLM Policy.

10 replies »

  1. Apparently they don’t review their candidates very well. Watch for new information that may bring an important (to the BLM) board member down in disgrace and may involve criminal charges.


  2. Just remember folks….when applying, you must be willing to lie, steal and even irradicate innocent animals so beware before applying.


  3. That bogus Board is just a means of stacking the deck against our wild horses and burros. Craig Downer has been turned down numerous times as have other real experts.
    Robin Lohnes is suppposed to be an advocate but IMO is a joke.


    • Just a PR attempt by BLM that they can try to impress an uninformed public with. But it also shows how they thumb their noses at those who would bring suggestions and knowledge to their board. When it comes to ranching and energy reps does the blm even know the word NO?


  4. I will ask again…where is the petition to remove the creeps at DOI?

    It needs to be sent to the chairs/co-chairs of the committees that fund DOI.

    And a cc to the Prez and his crew of hopey changey trolls that keep the peoples anger out of his daily biz.


  5. BLM are CRUEL, CORRUPT, COWARDLY LIARS and all they do is to serve Rolex Welfare Cattle ranchers and to help them stuff MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS & MILLIONS of their privately owned Welfare Cattle and Sheep on our public lands. These MILLIONS & MILLIONS of WELFARE CATTLE DESTROY our land, water, wildlife & cost TAXPAYERS BILLION per year. The board members BLM appoints serve Welfare Cattle ranchers interests only & BLM also illegally ignores the massive public opposition to their illegal and cruel wipe out of wild horses and burros.



    FYI Excellent article
    Posted by Preserve The Herds –

    For High Crimes & Misdemeanors
    Last week, Vivian Grant, founder and president of International Fund for Horses in conjunction with Michael Blake, screenwriter of “Dances With Wolves” and two-decade long wild horse and burro champion, released a powerful call to citizens and advocates across the country to exercise their Constitutional rights for the sake of our wild horses and burros.

    The timing of the call could not have been better as it coincided with the release of BLM Director Bob Abbey’s approved “new” Wild Horse and Burro Proposed Strategy; a regurgitated and misleading pack of cow manure that continues to promote an unyielding agenda of spin and bureaucratic “substantiation” for continuation of their crimes.

    “I believe crimes are being committed against our wild horses”, says Grant. “Crimes that must be prosecuted and the federal officials responsible removed. We are asking Congress to do just that, starting with BLM Director Bob Abbey.”

    “Article Two, Section 4, of the United States Constitution states that “The President, Vice President, and all Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

    International Fund For Horses then goes a step further by providing citizens and advocates alike an easy-to-follow, step by step guide to initiating Impeachment proceedings against BLM Director Abbey.

    At a time when the BLM is extending its hand with promises of reform, why should those who are trying to implement change demand the Impeachment of Director Abbey?

    I’ll tell you why.

    BLM has been promising reform and using their bureaucratic weight to generate these kinds of smoke and mirror tactics for decades now while our mustangs and burros have suffered and continue to suffer with no end in sight.

    How bad is it?


    After the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed to protect America’s wild horses and burros from harassment, capture, branding and death, between 1971 and 1980 the BLM allowed over 69,000 animals to be taken off the range by private individuals claiming them as their own.

    In 1986, 20,000 horses went to large scale adopters and were sold to slaughter or abused as a result of weakened adoption standards, fee waiver programs and sanctuaries used as fronts for commercial exploitation; many of these while still owned by BLM employees.

    In 1992, Michael Blake funded and organized an independent census of wild horses in Nevada conducted by the Public Lands Resource Council. At the time, the BLM was reporting over 33,000 wild horses were on Nevada rangelands but the independent found less than 8,300. The results of the census were dismissed by BLM officials based on the assertion that BLM used a superior method to count the animals via helicopter while the independent census used a fixed wing aircraft. Today, BLM is making “progress” on new census techniques using fixed wing aircraft.

    In 1992, an investigation by BLMs own law enforcement officials resulted in the accumulation over 3,000 pieces of evidence being compiled about what amounted to little more than a highly organized horse-to-slaughter trade run by the BLM now known as Del Rio. The DOI, Department of Justice and Office of the Inspector General were all implicated in a large scale cover up at the highest level through a systematic dismantling of a Grandy Jury convened to try the DOI for alleged crimes. After the successful shut down of the investigation and trial proceedings, those involved in uncovering the truth about the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program pleaded with then Attorney General Janet Reno to re-open the case. This request was denied.

    In 1997, Associated Press reporter Martha Mendoza began a series of articles filled with investigative research exposing more corruption within the DOI’s BLM, which touched off a fire storm of press about the Program.

    In 1998, a Congressional Field Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Public lands regarding Range Issues And Problems With The Wild Horse And Burro Act, which current BLM Director Abbey attended, quotes Congressional representative Faleomavaego raising the question: “And is it true that some 32,000 horses cannot be accounted for since we implemented this program?” Mr. Abbey failed to answer the question nor was an investigation ever initiated to determine their fate.

    In efforts to placate public outrage, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board was re-established after a lengthy hiatus. Predominately stacked with those who had glaring conflict-of-interest, staunch pro-BLM supporters were reappointed time and time again as the list of their recommendations justified each new step in extinction of the herds that continues unabated to this day. Public requests for investigations and removals of Board members were denied.


    In March 2000, a Senate Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing where long-time National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board member Larry Johnson submitted a statement in concert with BLM urging support for a mass cleansing campaign of wild horses and burros throughout the West under the “Restoration of Threatened Watersheds” proposal. Wild horses and burros, not livestock, were cited as one of the top three threats to watersheds in the West. The official testimony has since disappeared but was preserved HERE and was instrumental in launching the largest removal campaign of wild horses and burros since the passage of the Act, which is still ongoing today.

    After four years of massive removals, Senator Conrad Burns slips an eleventh hour amendment in an Omnibus Appropriations Act, without public notice or review, which allows the unlimited sale of our American heritage. BLM officially launches the legal sale of wild horses and burros to undisclosed individuals, a practice that continues today. The original language of the For Sale Authority clauses were found in a Nevada strategy document and linked to Nevada Senator Harry Reid. The majority of both advocates and citizens now consider the secret sales of wild horses and burros a legitimate function of the BLM and rarely call for its immediate repeal.

    Over the next decade the BLM continues to remove wild horses and burros at record levels while simultaneously reducing appropriate management levels and accelerating the elimination of habitat without accountability or review. As the costs of warehousing the now captured animals skyrockets, in 2008 the BLM announces the Program is broke and they no longer have the funding to feed the animals. Euthanasia of tens of thousands of animals is proposed and strategies are developed to kill wild horses and burros en mass and sterilize the remaining herds in documents titled BLM Team Conference Calls and Alternative Management Options.

    In response to the BLM’s declaration of considering mass disposal of America’s wild horses and burros, Congress orders the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review of the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and answer questions about the status of the land that has been removed from wild horse and burro use. The GAO comes back with a report that freely admits the majority of the information and data used to compile the report has not been independently verified by the GAO. Instead, the GAO relies on BLM survey data to evaluate the Program and issue their conclusions and recommendations based on BLM personnel responses. With respect to questions surrounding the large scale habitat loss, again the GAO defers answers to BLM instead. After three years, the BLM has still failed to provide a comprehensive overview of the lands status and there has been no independent review as to the accuracy of BLMs summary reports.

    In response to Congressional demands for reform in September 2009, newly appointed Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar responds with a new initiative a month later. A long-time cattle rancher with strong ties to the oil and gas industry, Salazar presents a vision that utterly fails to challenge the culture of corruption and history of abuse by pushing for so-called reforms that merely continue the trend of decimating America’s herds.


    In 2008, U.S. District Judge Collyer rules the DOI/BLM has exceeded its authority by issuing decisions to declare all wild horses in the Colorado based West Douglas Herd Management Area as “excessive” and zero the area out. After the ruling, the BLM proceeds to issue a bushel basket full of new Resource Management Plans that continue to eliminate at least 2 million acres of previously designated habitat and schedule the removals every wild horse and burro they can find.

    In September 2009, the BLM launches a roundup of the Pryor Mountain wild horses and The Cloud Foundation is instrumental in catapulting public awareness of the plight of the American mustang and burro into the spotlight. BLM responds to increases in public scrutiny by closing off public lands to conduct their activities and BLM Field Manager Jim Sparks tells the public, “This is not a democracy”.

    In December 2009, the BLM signs the decision to launch the largest wild horse removal operation of the year in the Nevada based Calico Complex. The public submits over 10,000 comments with questions about the legality of BLM’s environmental review process, discovers recent increases in cattle authorizations and that the BLM buried testimony and data from their own rangeland specialist to justify the removals. A lawsuit is filed by Bill Spriggs on behalf of In Defense of Animals, who argues that long term holding is illegal. While the judge agrees this is most likely the case, the BLM moves operations on private land to keep the public at bay and almost 1,900 animals are removed before a verdict is rendered; the case loses on a technicality and answers about long term holding are left answered.

    Advocates and citizens attempt to gain access to wild horses removed from Calico and are greeted by a barrage of law enforcement escorts and restrictions. Despite this, over 100 horses are reported as dead as a result of the removals including known miscarriages and aborted foals. Citizen based photos and videos of the reality of roundups gain national media exposure and the BLM begins to scramble to find ways to justify how roundups are humane.

    In June 2010, the BLM hosts a public forum led by hired spin doctors to sell the Salazar Initiative. This event will culminate in the newly released strategy document referred to above, which coincidentally found three main topics worthy of consideration out of 9,000 public comments, two of which are almost identical to Salazar’s new vision.

    In July 2010, the BLM again closes all public lands during the Tuscarora roundup and is greeted by a lawsuit by Laura Leigh and Gordon Cowan demanding public access. After filing a request for an injunction, the BLM suddenly announces the wild horses are dying of thirst and a BLM emergency response team is created to provide testimony to the judge. As a result, the judge rules in favor of the BLM and the horses are removed with little to no independent scrutiny.

    In response to evidence of inhumane treatment and allegations of illegal activities, Congress sends a letter to BLM requesting a moratorium on the roundups and urges the initiation of a study by the National Academy of Science (NAS) to review the Program. Secretary Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey ignore the request and the roundups continue. While BLM did agree to a review of the program by NAS, signs are already becoming visible that the study will have strict controls on what it will be allowed to review and just last month, BLM refused to upload the prior NAS studies online for public access. (That’s assuming NAS will actually be awarded the contract as it is currently up for Solicitation of Bid and may be awarded to another contractor based on a “viable response”.)

    On December 3, 2010, the BLM releases what it hails as an “Independent Observers Report” on the methods and procedures used to remove wild horses from public lands. Questions surface as to the allegiance of the observers and their “independent status” due to long-standing ties to the BLM’s National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and pro-horse slaughter industry supporters comprising the team.

    On December 13, 2010, the DOI Office of the Inspector General (OIG) releases a report extolling the virtues of Secretary Salazar’s initiative and asserts that roundups are humane and necessary. Though OIG inspections are generally conducted at the request of officials, the OIG reports they initiated the inspection themselves due to public concerns. Evidence of a whitewash surfaces one month later and suggests the large scale cover ups of the 1990’s attributed to the DOI’s OIG are ongoing. At the same time, a collaborative effort by advocates release an alternative report based largely on BLM published information and data that outlines the potential fraud and abuse of the Program and urges for the Defunding of Roundups through 2012. In response, the BLM ignores the report.

    In January/February 2011, a coalition of advocates document and film multiple abuses of helicopter techniques used to drive wild horses to trapsites in the Antelope Complex in Nevada. (“Antelope Roundup a Disaster for Wild Horses” by The Cloud Foundation, “Pictorial Essay of Obama’s Wild Horse Stampede at Antelope Complex” by R.T. Fitch/Straight From The Horses Heart, “Antelope Complex Wild Horse Roundup’s Final Days – Heavily Pregnant Mares and More Horse Abuse by Contractor” by Herd Watch/Grass Roots Horse, “Antelope Complex Ends With 1,368 Mustangs Captured” by American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign).

    The BLM reviews the Antelope Complex roundups, contractors, methods and treatment exposed by citizens to address allegations of impropriety. The BLM clears itself and the contractors of any significant wrong doing.

    Less than a month later, the BLM unveils its new plan and strategy for the future of America’s Wild Horses and Burros filled with the same old rhetoric, misleading statements and craftily presented alternative “solutions”. Promises of BLM’s proposed reforms supported by well-heeled government lackeys ring hollow, both to America’s wild horses and burros, as well as within every page of the strategy itself.





    Helpful Hints

    The Petition is a very important document. We highly recommend that you have your signature notarized. However, it is optional. You can send the Petition to Congress without your signature being notarized.

    Many office service retailers, delivery companies, banks and libraries provide notary service. It normally costs a dollar or two.
    Remember when having a document notarized, you must sign it in front of the Notary officer. If you are having your signature notarized, leave the signature section at the bottom of page 2 blank.
    Send the completed Petition and cover letter by first class mail or fax to Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Cmte, with a copy to your U.S. Representative (especially if they are on the Judiciary Cmte), and any other legislators in the U.S. House you feel are sensitive and sympathetic to the extinction of America’s wild horses and burros.
    You can send these documents, by law, to anyone in the U.S. House of Representatives. You do not have to be a constituent. This is referenced in the cover letter.
    Please be sure to keep a copy of your finished documents!
    Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman
    U.S. House Judiciary Cmte
    2138 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515

    Rep. Darrell Issa, Chairman
    U.S. House Cmte on Oversight and Govt Reform
    2157 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 2051

    Rep. Raul Grijalva
    1511 Longworth HOB
    Washington, DC 20515
    Fax: (202) 225-1541


  7. These are the letter and petition (first part of each) that can be found on the link that Jade has posted.
    Could they be printed out and taken to the Board Meeting at Phoenix?

    BEGINNING OF COVER LETTER (entire letter is in PDF form)
    Petition of Memorial re Robert V. Abbey, Director, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Dept of Interior
    Rep. __________________________________
    Member of Congress
    Member of Congress’s Address
    Washington D.C.________________________
    Your Name
    Your Address
    Your City, State, Zip
    Dear Rep. ___________________________________, DATE: _____________________________________
    I, (Your Name) _______________________________________________________, a citizen of the State of
    (Your State) _________________________, and of the United States, respectfully ask your representation in the
    U.S. House of Representatives through a petition of memorial.
    In concordance with Article Two of the United States Constitution, Section 4, which states “The President, Vice
    President, and all Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and
    Conviction of Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors”, and
    In concordance with the Jefferson’s Manual Section LIII, 603, which states that “impeachment may be set in
    motion by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination”,
    I submit the enclosed Petition for review by the House Judiciary Committee (see Hinds Sec. 2364, 2491, 2494)
    regarding the impeachment of ROBERT V. ABBEY, Director, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of
    the Interior.
    House itself may refer one portion of a petition to one committee and another portion to another committee (IV,
    3359, 3360), but ordinarily the reference of a petition does not come before the House itself.”
    I would appreciate a timely response, and thank you in advance for your assistance in this procedure.
    Respectfully submitted,


    gas pipeline laying, mineral drilling and other similar public land use contracts, violating
    federal law and therefore constituting a fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.

    5. Contracting helicopter roundup companies (including one with a documented history of criminal conduct in previous roundups), that abuse, harass, maim, shoot and kill
    Congressionally protected wild horses and burros, breaching humane care and treatment standards, violating federal law and therefore constituting a fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.
    6. Conducting stressful helicopter roundups of Congressionally protected wild horses in harsh conditions driving them relentlessly over long distances and rough terrains resulting in hoof separation fatalities, and near or during foaling season resulting in numerous aborted foals, breaching humane care and treatment standards, violating federal law and therefore constituting
    a fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars.
    7. Keeping Congressionally protected wild horses in short-term holding facilities where they die from pneumonia, infectious diseases, and hyperlipemia, a condition of metabolic and liver failure caused by the extreme stress of helicopter chase, entrapment and captivity, breaching humane care and treatment standards, violating federal law and therefore constituting a


  8. Members of the House and Congress do not respond to citizen’s outside their home state. If you sent along a self addressed stamped envelope I don’t know if that would change things.

    But that long post is well worth reading.


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